Callen had gone home with Charlie last night and she had left early in the next morning.
Callen, waking early with her had gone for a run, his clothes in his backpack and jogged to work. He hadn't expected Sam to pick him up as normal, but he wasn't going to get in a car with the man either.
He arrived at Ops before 6am and went into the showers to wash before he started his day. Getting dressed he walked out into the bullpen to find a coffee on his desk.
Sam was nowhere to be seen, and Callen eyed the drink suspiciously.
"Drink it G," Sam said from behind him.
"You buy it?" Callen asked, eyeing him warily.
Sam nodded, "I was wrong G, you're my partner… it's not your fault your parents were straight, you didn't know and I shouldn't hold it against you… you did good on the op last night, even I was convinced." He said trying to placate him.
Callen clenched his fist and looked over at him, but said nothing.
"Come on G, I'm sure after the op, they'll let you keep your job." Sam said as Deeks and Kensi walked in.
Callen picked up the coffee strode over to Sam's desk and dropped it in the trash can beside it. "No thanks." He snapped and walked over to Hetty's office.
"Ah, Mr. Callen good morning, I hope you and Mr. Hanna managed to resolve your differences?" she said as she poured him a cup of tea.
Callen shook his head, "He's not going to accept me, and in fact I am surprised he hasn't called the containment team to pick me up yet."
Hetty smiled, "I had, and still have, your back son." She said quietly.
Callen smiled around his teacup and took a sip. "Nice." He nodded.
"You have to give Sam time, he's trying to get over the shock, remember what he lost." Hetty told him somberly thinking of his son.
"What about what I have lost," Callen snapped, "My mother, my father, my sister and more than likely after this my job. Don't kid yourself Hetty, the containment team will let me stay for this operation, but as soon as it's over both you and I know that I'm out of a job, a home and any chance of a normal life, I'm gonna end up back on the streets."
"You know I wouldn't let that happen to you Callen." Hetty said.
Callen smiled sadly, "I know you wouldn't want to but its 30 years in Maximum security for harboring a natural born person, and an extra 10 years if they…." Callen stopped as Hetty nodded in understanding.
"Be that as it may, you will always have a home with me." Hetty said sternly.
Callen knew he couldn't argue with her so he didn't even try, "Did Kensi and Sam get any leads on Gerry's killer?" he asked.
Hetty shook her head, "They know she left with a man the night before she died, they still don't know who killed her."
"I didn't kill her; she was alive when she left my house." Callen said quietly to her.
"I know," Hetty said, "Mr. Beale is checking out some camera footage from surrounding roads looking for anyone who may have been in the car with her, but right now our best lead is to get you into the NBSCA." She told him.
As if it had been preordained Callen's phone vibrated, not his work one, but his undercover alias work phone.
He looked at Hetty and she nodded as he took it.
"Callen?" he said, his face lit up, "Charlie… how are you?" he asked.
He listened to her as she told him that the NBSCA were meeting that night, not the main group, but a local chapter, and if he checked out he might get invited to the main meeting.
"I'll be there." He said and ended the call.
"I take it you are in?" Hetty asked.
"I will have to let my partner know." Callen said.
Hetty smiled, "So you will talk to Mr. Hanna?" she asked.
Callen shook his head, "No… My partner Deeks… he's my partner on this operation, probably the last partner, I'll ever have, but he needs to be kept in the loop."
"On everything?" Hetty asked.
Callen glared at her, "No… not everything… but enough." He told her.
She sighed, "I wish it were not so hard for you to trust people." She said seeing Sam coming over towards them.
"I tried to trust people, we told them about my parentage, something that I had no hand in, and look how well that turned out." He snapped.
"Mr. Hanna has a few preconceived notions and with the losses he suffered due to this group it does not endear yourself to your cause."
"THE NBSCA IS NOT MY CAUSE!" Callen shouted.
Hetty put up her hands to placate him, "A poor choice of words Mr. Callen, however, for the remainder of this mission, you do have to live and breathe this group." She handed him a large file, "This is all we have on it I suggest you and your partner look it over."
"What did you want us to look at Hetty?" Sam asked.
"You nothing… I have to show these to my partner." Callen snapped and grabbed the file off of Hetty's desk. "Deeks!" he called and he walked away from Sam.
Sam slumped in the chair Callen had just vacated, "I don't know what to do Hetty, I tried bringing him coffee, I've tried telling him, I'm ok with what he is… I mean it's not like he's really one of them… you know… straight… he can't help how he was born, I mean I feel sorry for him and all… but I don't know what else I can do?" he looked at her and saw the frown on her face.
"And you expected him to be ok with that?" she said.
"I'm trying Hetty I really am, but finding out he's a natural… and then seeing him undercover with that woman… and they kissed… I mean, that's just not normal." He looked at her, "it's unnatural… can't they do something about people like that… like a pill or therapy or something?" he asked.
"Mr. Hanna, does it not occur to you that maybe, just maybe people are how they are meant to be, and being a natural born person, or a straight person would not make Mr. Callen any less of a man than you?"
"Well, yes… I mean no… I mean… I don't know?!" Sam huffed exasperatedly.
"Mr. Callen is about to put himself on the line for us, to save many lives, he will be going into this terrorist organization, not because he is as the government would have us believe expendable for being natural born, but because as a man, it is the right thing to do. It is a good thing for us he is natural born; otherwise we would have never gotten this shot."
Sam nodded, "I don't mean to sound hetrophobic or anything, but he was pretty convincing with that Charlie last night, he could have fooled me."
"And that Mr. Hanna is why he is going undercover and why he is an asset to this company."
Callen slammed the folder down on the desk in Nate's office.
"This is all we have on the NBSCA, I'm going to a meeting with Charlie tonight, she knows a local group, I have to be tested by them and if I pass I get to go to the main group meeting."
"Ok." Deeks said, looking at all the information. "You're going to have to go in without a comm. They'll check you; we've lost five undercover cops at these local meetings all of whom were wearing a wire, three turned up dead, and two are still missing." He said solemnly.
"So how do I keep in touch?" Callen asked.
Deeks shook his head, "The first few meetings, you can't. You can call afterwards, and I'll be outside… nearby, but to be honest Callen, you've gotta do this solo."
Callen sighed, "Ok, I understand…"
"I'll meet you at my house after the meeting, I talked to Eric and he said it'd be ok if you came by for a debrief."
"Is Eric going to be alright with that in his condition and all." Callen asked worried for his friend.
Deeks smiled, "Yeah, this pregnancy keeps him up most nights; Hetty's letting him sleep in the afternoon. We asked the birthing center if they could give something to the brood mare to help the baby sleep so Eric could sleep, but they said it'd hurt him."
Callen smiled, "You're having a boy?" he asked.
Deeks grinned, "Yeah had the scan yesterday evening after work." Deeks pulled out a scan and showed Callen.
"Wow, that's great, congratulations." He smiled.
"Eric is stoked; he woke up this morning wanting to paint the whole house blue." Deeks grinned.
Callen laughed, "Yeah, I heard pregnancy hormones can do that to a guy." He said.
Callen pulled the car up outside the address Charlie had given him; He got out of the car and saw Deeks, dressed as a homeless guy down the street. He looked up and down and saw Charlie pull up with two other men in a van.
"What's going on?" Callen asked as Deeks watched.
"We need to make sure you ain't a cop." Charlie said, "This is too important."
"Of course I ain't a cop, would I be here if I was?" Callen snapped.
The two men got out and held Callen by the arms, "GET OFF ME!" Callen struggled and Deeks moved a bit closer.
"CHARLIE?" Callen yelled as she walked up to him and syringe in her hand.
"Shhh….it's ok lover, I just need to be certain, you'll be all right." She kissed him and injected a clear liquid into his neck.
He sagged in the other men's arms and they carefully placed him in the van and drove off.
"Shit!" Deeks swore. "Eric…Callen is M.I.A…Repeat Callen is M.I.A, call Hetty." He said leaning heavily against the wall and hoping that Callen wouldn't become number six.